DBefore I dive too deep into the jewel of a song that is WillThaRapper’s newest release, I must confess that the hip-hop industry seemingly does not want this artist to dominate the top of the charts. With the official visual being released on April 3, the severely underrated “Paper Calling” is more than capable of sending chills down your spine.
To start, I’ll admit that I don’t think I’ve personally seen a music video visualize lyricism quite like “Paper Calling.” At the start, the audience is introduced to Will purchasing snacks in a convenience store. With the beat already playing in the background, you can hear that this song isn’t to going pan out like many of his other hits, such as “D-R-A-C-O.” With the dramatic guitar lead right off the bat, and Will getting shot as he’s leaving the convenience store, it’s abundantly clear that there is going to be some significance in this track.
Presented with these opening lyrics below, Will is seen falling into an open room with a noose tied around his neck. This, to me, is a symbolic gesture that the artists feels constrained as he opens up to the audience:
“I can’t fall in love, need somebody to do this for me
I’ll give you five if you go and kill Cupid for me.”
Progression: let it “Paint the picture”
Once the song begins to take its full form, one element sticks out to me like safety orange in a construction zone: the hurt in Will’s young eyes. As the track progresses, it shows Will gazing into a black abyss in a nostalgic manner, also presented in the lyrics:
“But it’s ok if you don’t come from a picture I paint,
It’s not your fault you’ve never seen it so you couldn’t relate…”
Shortly after, the visual takes the audience into a conference room with Will standing on the table surrounded by suited individuals that represent his label executives. Once again, the lyrics in this scene tell the story:
“But then my label tell me make a song like you did before,
But I said shit I made that song that you like bout’ 4 years ago,
But they look at me like so, now we bout’ to bump heads when I look at them like no…”
Will delivers these bars while towering over his label executives, standing on their table and flipping middle fingers at them.This ties back into how the industry does not want Will to succeed on his own. The scene also shows Will is seeking out a different type of sound in his music as well as taking back control from those who have tried to keep him down after many years.
One of the final elements that this video portrays is Will being arrested and locked up in jail. This, in turn, brings back the element of nostalgia as he reminisces about his mother:
“Your mother got no choice now, your head and her voice now,
Her money plan got stopped because you locked up here in your cell,
Well now she can’t pick up and you can’t leave a voicemail,
You start to cherish shit like the sound of her voice felt…”
In my humble opinion, these are some of the most powerful lyrics delivered in the entire song because of they way Will is seen as he is rapping this specific part: behind bars.
The track then progresses into its conclusion shortly after this scene of Will in jail, and he leaves us with a unique message:
“You about to come home, it’s been some years since you sat down,
You got your life back, time to put this shit on track now…”
As the video concludes and the beat rides out, the audience is presented with Will in the same spot as the beginning of the video; the same room he fell into with a noose around his neck, however this time, there is no noose. Instead, the young artist gets back on his feet and exits the room stepping through a door, symbolizing that he has gotten back on his feet after taking an emotional fall. It’s the ending we all wanted to see for the young artist, WillThaRapper.